Sounds as though the New York Islanders are close to a deal with pending RFA blueliner Thomas Hickey.
Per Newsday’s sources, the contract extension is believed to be of the three-year variety, with Hickey pulling down “in the range of” $6.5 million total — a cap hit of around $2.16M.
For Hickey, 26, it’s a nice bump from the $675,000 he netted annually on his last deal.
The former Kings first-rounder was claimed off waivers by the Isles prior to the lockout-shortened ’13 campaign and has been a steady lineup presence ever since; he’s appeared in 82 and 81 games in consecutive seasons and both set and matched a career-high in points, with 22 each year.
Getting Hickey locked in was fairly important for the Isles, as they dealt away Griffin Reinhart at the draft and don’t expect to return Lubomir Visnovsky.
That puts Hickey in a top-six defensive group with Johnny Boychuk, Travis Hamonic, Nick Leddy, Calvin De Haan and Brian Strait, with youngsters like Ryan Pulock and Scott Mayfield looking to make the leap.
The Buffalo Sabres have agreed to a two-year extension with RFA forward Nicolas Deslauriers, per CapGeek.
The deal is of the one-way variety and reportedly worth $1.275 million over two years, good for an average annual cap hit of $637,500. Deslauriers, 23, came over to Buffalo last season in a flip of prospects (the Sabres also got Hudson Fasching; Brayden McNabb, Jonathan Parker and a pair of picks went to L.A) and proceeded to make his NHL debut with and appear in 17 games for the club, scoring once.
A former third-round pick of the Kings (84th overall) at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Deslauriers is still looking to find his niche at the NHL level but did impress in the toughness department, mostly notably in this scrap against Isles defenseman Scott Mayfield:
On Monday, Islanders captain John Tavares addressed rumblings about him wanting out of New York — and addressed them emphatically.
“I signed six years because I wanted to be here. There’s no part of me that wants to leave,” Tavares told Newsday. “I think [the talk] is a product of the team not winning, and the perception around here from other markets is always a lot different from what actually happens.”
Tavares’ name has come up in recent weeks, thanks in large part to comments made by TSN’s Darren Dreger:
Tavares does seem committed to the Isles. He just wrapped the second of a six-year, $33 million deal — his first season as team captain — and, at 23, has to be somewhat excited about the prospect of the Isles’ young talent on the horizon.
Following a season-ending knee injury at the Olympics, Tavares watched as the Isles rolled out a number of their kids and received some good results: Ryan Strome had 18 points in 37 games, Brock Nelson finished 11th among NHL rookies with 14 goals, Calvin de Haan posted career highs in games (51) and points (16) while Anders Lee, a sixth-round pick in 2009, scored an impressive 14 points in 22 games.
Given the other good talent on the horizon — Scott Mayfield, Johan Sundstrom, Griffin Reinhart, Ryan Pulock — it’s not surprising that Tavares still sees many positives for the future.
“I know we’ve still got some great things we can accomplish here,” he said. “My mindset hasn’t changed.”